Ten Grade 1s on tap Saturday

Welcome back to everyone who took last week off. You missed the worst million-dollar race I have ever seen (the Pennsylvania Derby), and one of the best races with a four-horse field that I can remember (Questing vs. My Miss Aurelia in the Cotillion).

The stakes schedule is exploding with 10 Grade 1 races at Santa Anita and Belmont, all on Saturday.

Whether you plan to bet or not, it's best to follow along. We are entering primetime intelligence gathering for the 2012 Breeders' Cup (Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita), and that's generally how I approach these next two weekends of preps. I'll jump into the pools if I see an overlay, but the big money lies in properly interpretting these races on Breeders' Cup day.

Keep in mind the form we saw at Del Mar could easily get turned upside down with the SoCal circuit back on dirt.

Regular Locksmith commenter Keelerman suggested we have a little bragging rights handicapping contest this week, and I agreed.

Select one horse in each of the 10 Grade 1 races. Winnings will be determined by $2 win/place wagers. 

Beldame: I would love to see Royal Delta get going in the right direction again. I thought she looked washed out and just had an off day in the Personal Ensign. She's the best filly or mare in America when on her game.

Vosburgh: I'll take a price shot with Rothko.

Flower Bowl: Dream Peace (Ire) ran a nice second behind the now retired Winter Memories, and trainer Chad Brown wins 33% with horses making their first start for him.

Turf Classic: Point of Entry is a legitimate American hope to regain the BC Turf crown.

Jockey Club Gold Cup: I have felt for some time that Ron the Greek is going to win the Breeders' Cup Classic. He finally gets back to 10f, albeit at an odd track configuration (1.5 turns) in a small, relatively paceless field. Doubt I'll be betting this race, and I just want to see The Greek finishing strongly, much like Drosselmeyer last year.

Chandelier: Executiveprivilege is a beast and the most likely winner of the BC Juvenile Fillies. She has a bulldozer of a presence and I can't wait to see her on dirt.

Front Runner:  Know More has a sharp mind and a classy presence. I think he can improve going two turns. He's the best 2yo colt in Cali from what I have seen and maybe the best in the country.

Zenyatta: This race looks like it will set up for a closer, and I think 4-year-old Star Billing looks interesting making her first start on dirt. Her dam is a half sister to two Grade 1 winners on dirt -- Stellar Jayne and Starrer. And note that Starrer was by Star Billing's sire Dynaformer. Gap in the workout pattern after the good 2nd in the Clement Hirsch noted, but if she runs well here and comes back in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic, she could be a live longshot.

Rodeo Drive: I was all set to pick three-year-old Lady of Shamrock in here vs. older, but she may instead pop up in the QEII Stakes at Keeneland or train up to the Breeders' Cup. In her absence I think the classy Marketing Mix is a standount.

Awesome Again: Game on Dude is formidable, and the rider switch to Bejarnao is a plus, however he drew the rail and has a lot of speed outside of him. For contest purposes, I'll take Richard's Kid, who carries 5 pounds less than the Dude.

169 Comments

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Rusty Weisner

Winning the JCGC has seemed to be a negative predictor for the Breeder's Cup the past couple years.

27 Sep 2012 12:39 PM
Pete Denk

Rusty- Yes agreed, the combination of Belmont's sweeping turns and the one-turn 10f configuration are quite unique.

27 Sep 2012 1:51 PM
Rusty Weisner

Pete,

By the same token the horses underneath the winner come roaring back:  Drosselmeyer, Blame, Fly Down.

27 Sep 2012 2:09 PM
Rusty Weisner

...plus there was a bias two years ago (Haynesfield) and an off track last year.

27 Sep 2012 2:11 PM
Rusty Weisner

I hope for an expert rundown of Santa Anita before November:  I've never bet it before!

27 Sep 2012 2:14 PM
Rusty Weisner

Won't be betting but will be rooting for my nemesis, Little Mike.

27 Sep 2012 2:18 PM
Old Timer

"Richard's Kid, who loves 10 furlongs"?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Awesome Again 9 furlongs and not 10?

27 Sep 2012 2:38 PM
Monarchos Matt

This looks a little chalky but not a bad day to hit a multi-race wager if you have a feeling about a horse in the 5/1-10/1 range and can find a strong single or two.

Belmont Super Saturday

Beldame- Terrible betting race so I will avoid it. ROYAL DELTA is my pick. Will use her and It's Tricky in Pick 3.

Kelso- Slightly better betting race but not by much, so I'm passing again. SHACKLEFORD is my pick. Will use him and To Honor and Serve in Pick 3.

Vosburgh- Best betting race of the card. Not seeing morning line favorite Justin Phillip here, or 4-1 Poseidon's Warrior (unless it's muddy). My pick is SEAN AVERY (and I get pace factor The Lumber Man with him, not a bad deal.) Will bet him outight and box him in an exacta with Fort Loudon and Caixa Electronica, and use those 3 in my Pick 3.

FLOWER BOWL- Probably the race I'm looking forward to the most. My pick is I'M A DREAMER, who should love the extra ground here. I'll bet her outright, box her in an exacta with Dream Peace and add Zagora for my Pick 3.

JOE HIRSCH- Will bet against my arch nemesis Little Mike yet again. My pick is POINT OF ENTRY, who is a single in my Pick 3. Sleeper pick here is Finnegan's Wake at 10-1. Will play him small to place.

JOCKEY CLUB- No pace here at all but still not certain that Fort Larned wants the distance. FLAT OUT looks to be improving, gets 10f for the first time this year on his favorite track and is my pick. Outright money on him, Will box exacta with Ron the Greek and  add Fort Larned for the Pick 3.

Not terribly exciting, but there is money to be made nonetheless.

27 Sep 2012 4:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Pete

  I might play the contest but first I need to know what the takeout is. Pizza? Burgers? Chinese? 30 percent?

27 Sep 2012 4:31 PM
Pete Denk

Old Timer u r correct, the Awesome Again is 9 furlongs.

Thanks for the catch.

27 Sep 2012 4:46 PM
Pete Denk

Dr. Drunkinbum-

Good news, there is no takeout.

The only thing at stake in this contest is Internet bragging rights.

And if you beat KY VET, you get to sign off all your posts as "Pro."

27 Sep 2012 4:56 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

My Main bet is Marketing Mix in the Rodeo Drive.  Love the Canadian mare!.  The races in New York....I like Shackleford to rebound in the Kelso, The JCGC I am all over Ron The Greek, The Beldame I like It's Tricky, The Flower Bowl I like Dream Peace also(Big Fan of Chad Brown in regards to Turf horses), The Turf Classic Point of Entry(not sure he is a top runner vs the Euro's). I am skipping the extremely weak Awesome Again stakes which his son should win easily.

Good luck to all.

27 Sep 2012 7:19 PM
Pete Denk

Just finished going through the cards for Belmont and Santa Anita. Looks like a chalky day to me.

27 Sep 2012 8:09 PM
-Keelerman

Pete -- you told Dr. D that there is no takeout for this contest. But I think that you should take 30% of the bragging rights just for hosting the competition! :)

I haven't finished handicapping the races yet, but I think that Executiveprivilege, Game On Dude, and Point of Entry look like pretty unbeatable favorites. But that said, I will be watching the weather closely, and seeing how the tracks are playing on Saturday before making any final decisions.

-Keelerman

27 Sep 2012 9:45 PM
Monarchos Matt

EARLY PICK 3: Royal Delta, It's Tricky/ Shackleford, To Honor and Serve/ Sean Avery, Fort Loudon, Caixa Electronica

LATE PICK 3: I'm A Dreamer, Dream Peace, Zagora/ Point of Entry/ Flat Out, Ron The Greek, Fort Larned

27 Sep 2012 9:57 PM
-Keelerman

Good luck, Monarchos Matt! I hope you hit them both!

27 Sep 2012 10:20 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Keelerman

   I think the takeout should be that Pete takes out the winner for pizza and beer. If the winner is pipedown then pipedown should pay for 30 percent of the dinner. Yes, the weather at BP is a big factor and also at SA with 96 degrees forecast. It may not be as chalky as many think.

27 Sep 2012 11:15 PM
Pete Denk

Please note I abandoned my price stabs in the 2yo races at Santa Anita to better reflect my true opinion that Executiveprivilege and Know More are not only the most likely winners on Saturday but also in their respective Breeders' Cup races.

Unless anyone scratches, my picks are now final.

28 Sep 2012 2:11 AM
-Keelerman

Question -- are we going to include the Kelso Handicap in our contest? I suppose technically it isn't one of the ten grade Is, but perhaps we should include it anyway, since it is part of Belmont's "Super Saturday" card.

-Keelerman

28 Sep 2012 10:01 AM
Pete Denk

Keelerman-

I'll take the Kelso out of my picks since it's a Grade 2.

Sticking with the original plan...10 Grade 1's

28 Sep 2012 10:50 AM
lunar spook

2 horses that will shine this weekend on the way to even greater things in the B.C. TO HONOR AND SERVE , FORT LARNED

28 Sep 2012 11:41 AM
Aaron McC

Pete - The Vosburgh does look like the place to take a chance will all the talented but wishy-washy speed. I'm thinking Posseidon's Warrior, hard trying no matter what the pace, might be a little juicy ...

28 Sep 2012 12:10 PM
Pete Denk

Aaron- I like Rothko and Sean Avery in there but admittedly it looks wide open. Tough post for Poseidon on the rail. 2-for-2 on wet, so let's see what kind of track we get tomorrow.

28 Sep 2012 2:55 PM
Zenyatta - Perfection Personified

Beldame: It's Tricky

Vosburgh: Caixa Electronica

Flower Bowl: I'm A Dreamer

Turf Classic: Point of Entry

JCGC: Fort Larned

Chandelier: Executiveprivilege

FrontRunner: Dry Summer

Zenyatta: Include Me Out (cheering for Switch)

Rodeo Drive: Marketing Mix

Awesome Again: Game on Dude in a romp

28 Sep 2012 3:29 PM
Nancy Hayes

Call me crazy, but given the surface, his affinity for an off track, his stellar recent work, and his storied NY racing connections, I am seeing Hymn Book in the Winners Circle after the JCGC...Just a hunch that, for me, just feels right. I'd like to see Shug in that win photo.  :)

28 Sep 2012 8:01 PM
swede

BELDAME  ROYAL DELTA  VOSBURG  ROTHKO  FLOWER BOWL ZAGORA JOE HIRSCH POINT OF ENTRY JCGC FORT LARNED  CHANDELIER S  BEHOLDER  FRONT RUNER S GABRIEL CHARLES  ZENYETTA AMANI  RODEO DRIVE MARKETING MIX  AWASOME AGAIN SUGESTIVEBOY  GOOD LUCK TO ALL SWEDE:

29 Sep 2012 10:44 AM
Pete Denk

Main track Belmont initially posted as good. Turf yielding.

Locksmith subscribers, please note that Race 4 is off the turf. No play there.

29 Sep 2012 11:12 AM
Mary Zinke

Beldame: Royal Delta

Vosburgh: Justin Phillip

Flower Bowl: Zagora

Turf Classic: Little Mike

Jockey Club Gold Cup: Flat Out

Candelier: Executiveprivilege

Front Runner: Carving

Zenyatta: Include Me Out

Rodeo Drive: Cambina

Awesome Again: Game On Dude

29 Sep 2012 12:01 PM
nickie

looking for the Pletcher runners and Ft. Larned to set decent pace w/[my selection]Atigun sitting behind first tier, gets first run and is a nice price.[Smitty comes back for the ride...that's enuff for me]...I would think Hymm Book will also show himself well

29 Sep 2012 12:22 PM
Senator L

Beldame: Royal Delta

Vosburgh: Fort Loudon

Flower Bowl: Halo Dolly

Turf Classic: Little Mike

JCGC: Fort Larned

Chandelier: Executiveprivilege

FrontRunner: Dirty Swag

Zenyatta: Amani

Rodeo Drive: Marketing Mix

Awesome Again: Game on Dude

good luck everyone

29 Sep 2012 12:45 PM
Pete Denk

Main track at Belmont looked pretty good in the first race. An outside presser won the race, but the runner-up rallied from pretty far back along the inside.

29 Sep 2012 1:11 PM
JayJay

Beldame Invitational : Royal Delta

Vosburgh Invitational Stakes : The Lumber Guy

Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes :  I'm A Dreamer

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational : Treasure Beach

Jockey Cup Gold Cup Stakes : Ron The Greek

Chandelier Stakes : Scarlet Strike

FrontRunner Stakes : Know More

Zenyatta Stakes : Switch

Rodeo Drive Stakes : City To City

Awesome Again Stakes : Game On Dude

Good Luck All !

29 Sep 2012 1:18 PM
Pete Denk

Debuting 2yo Stormy Len gets over the from the 9-hole and wires race 2 at Belmont. For Greater Glory second with an outside stalking trip. Midnite Poppa sits the rail to get third.

29 Sep 2012 1:26 PM
Monarchos Matt

Beldame: Royal Delta

Vosburgh: Sean Avery

Flower Bowl: I'm A Dreamer

Joe Hirsch: Point of Entry

Jockey Club Gold Cup: Flat Out

Chandelier: Executiveprivilege

FrontRunner: Know More

Zenyatta: Amani

Rodeo Drive: Marketing Mix

Awesome Again: Game on Dude

Good luck!

29 Sep 2012 1:32 PM
Footlick

Kelso- Tapizar

Vosburg- Rothko

Beldame- Disposablepleasure

Flower Bowl- Hit It Rich

Hirsch- Treasure Beach

JCGC- Hymn Book

Chandelier- Beholder

Front Runner- Capo Bastone

Zenyatta- Amani or Switch

Rodeo Drive- Stormy Lucy

Awesome Again- Rail Trip or Suggestive Boy

I made my choices as if I would be betting, not necessarily who I think will win.  In the Beldame, it is hard to look past the two favorites, but at the odds they will be I would never bet either of them.  Same with the Kelso.  There were quite a few ways I could have gone in the Flower Bowl, Hirsch and JCGC.

29 Sep 2012 1:50 PM
Pete Denk

49-1 shot Groundforce essentially wires Race 3 at Belmont with an inside re-rally. The inside paths are very good at Belmont.

29 Sep 2012 1:59 PM
KY VET

i like 7 diff horses, but think monarchos mat did best job hanicapping....some have crazy choices.........

beldame-ITS TRICKY

vosburg-ROTHKO

flowerbowl-IMADREAMER

turfclassic-LITTLE MIKE

jockeycgc-HYMN BOOK

chand-EX> PRIVILAGE

frtrunner-CAPO BASTONE

zenyatta-AMANI

rodeo dr-LETSGOCHEYENNE

awesome a-RICHARDS KID...................................................PRO

29 Sep 2012 2:34 PM
-Keelerman

Happy "Super Saturday" everyone! Having watched the first few races at Belmont, it seems that the rail is the place to be, and speed certainly isn't a bad thing. So here are my selections:

Beldame: It's Tricky

Vosburgh: Sean Avery

Flower Bowl: Dream Peace

Joe Hirsch: Point of Entry

Jockey Club Gold Cup: Fort Larned

Chandelier Stakes: Executiveprivilege

FrontRunner Stakes: Know More

Zenyatta Stakes: Amani

Rodeo Drive Stakes: City to City

Awesome Again Stakes: Game On Dude

Let the racing begin!

-Keelerman

29 Sep 2012 2:51 PM
THE KEYMASTER

Bel 5th: #3 Royal Delta

Bel 7th: #9 Justin Phillip

Bel 8th: #1 Dream Peace (Ire)

Bel 9th: #3 Treasure Beach (GB)

Bel 10th: #5 Fort Larned

SA 6th: #11 Miss Empire

SA 7th: #8 Capo Bastone

SA 8th: #3 Switch

SA 9th: #9 Vivo Per Lei

SA 10th: #1 Game On Dude

29 Sep 2012 3:11 PM
THE KEYMASTER

Was anyone else getting a error message for this site today?  I was the first time I tried to post my picks.  I believe they should now be posted but it was the 2nd time I tried and after the Beldame.  I entered the same picks for this contest as I did in the free equibase contest, for which my screen name is badbill and those picks had to be posted before 2:45.  However, I will agree to forfeit my winnings from the Beldame for the purpose of this contest.

29 Sep 2012 3:17 PM
Age of Reason

Yes, I too was getting an error message for this page earlier in the day. I'll leave out the Beldame obviously, not that it mattered because I couldn't decide between Royal Delta and It's Tricky anyway. Here goes:

Flower Bowl: Nahrain (win/place)

Zenyatta: Amani, then Include Me Out. Throw in Star Billing for good measure, since the ultra-conservative John Shirreffs doesn't take chances like this unless he's convinced he has a good shot.

Clement L. Hirsch: Point of Entry.

FrontRunner: Know More.

Vosburgh: Sean Avery, Justin Phillip.

Rodeo Drive: Marketing Mix.

Chandelier: Executiveprivilege.

Jockey Club Gold Cup: Flat Out.

Awesome Again: Game on Dude and Richard's Kid.

29 Sep 2012 3:40 PM
Age of Reason

Monarchos Matt,

After submitting my comment I went back to read others' comments, and saw that you and I have the same pick in every race but the Flower Bowl. Scary. For the record, though, as I just said I didn't see your comment until after I'd submitted my own. Perhaps two good minds have thought alike?

29 Sep 2012 3:45 PM
-Keelerman

Here are the standings after race #1 . . .

1st: Pete Denk $5.90

1st: swede $5.90

1st: Mary Zinke $5.90

1st: Senator L $5.90

1st: JayJay $5.90

1st: Monarchos Matt $5.90

7th: Zenyatta - P.P.: $2.30

7th: Keelerman: $2.30

29 Sep 2012 4:04 PM
Footlick

Ok.  My horse was scratched from the Beldame, which I'm sure was a good thing, but I hate that Beholder was scratched also.  Two of my picks gone.  Disposable pleasure was the best of the rest, IMO, with the weight break, but no chance really.  But I think Beholder had a good chance.  Tapizar did not deliver in the Kelso.

29 Sep 2012 4:30 PM
Footlick

2 last place finishes in a row.  At least I'm consistent

29 Sep 2012 4:47 PM
-Keelerman

Here are the standings after race #3 . . .

1st: Age of Reason $19.90

2nd: JayJay $15.80

3rd: Zenyatta - P.P.: $10.10

3rd: swede $10.10

3rd: Mary Zinke $10.10

6th: Pete Denk $5.90

6th: Senator L $5.90

6th: Monarchos Matt $5.90

9th: Keelerman: $2.30

9th: Ky Vet: $2.30

29 Sep 2012 5:05 PM
Footlick

This is why I always play perfecta and exacta boxes in the States.  My first picks flop half the time but my underneath picks are always right there.  2nd and 3rd in both the Vosburgh and the Flower Bowl.  Of course if I had known Nahrain would not go off the favorite......

29 Sep 2012 5:30 PM
Footlick

I'm slipping up.  One of my picks ran second????

29 Sep 2012 5:39 PM
Mary Zinke

Hey, footy. Great day--"my" Royal Delta was wonderful.

29 Sep 2012 6:02 PM
-Keelerman

Here are the standings after race #6 . . .

1st: Age of Reason $45.60

2nd: Monarchos Matt $31.60

3rd: Mary Zinke $29.80

4th: JayJay $24.30

5th: Zenyatta - P.P. $20.90

6th: Pete Denk $16.70

7th: swede $16.10

8th: Keelerman: $13.10

9th: Senator L $10.70

10th: Footlick $4.30

10th: The Keymaster $4.30

11th: Ky Vet: $2.30

29 Sep 2012 7:14 PM
-Keelerman

Correction to that last score update -- I didn't include Ky Vet's $4.80 for Executiveprivilege's victory.

29 Sep 2012 7:22 PM
Age of Reason

Talk about schadenfreude--as soon as Power Broker upset my pick Know More in the FrontRunner I was worried I might lose my spot in the standings, so I rushed back to this page to see if anyone had Power Broker. When I saw that no one did, I giggled with girlish glee (so yeah, I'm probably taking this too seriously. But reader enthusiasm is what Pete wants, right? lol).

29 Sep 2012 7:32 PM
-Keelerman

Here are the standings after race #7 . . .

1st: Age of Reason $49.00

2nd: Monarchos Matt $35.00

3rd: Mary Zinke $29.80

4th: JayJay $27.70

5th: Zenyatta - P.P. $20.90

6th: Pete Denk $20.10

7th: Keelerman: $16.50

8th: swede $16.10

9th: Senator L $10.70

10th: The Keymaster $10.20

11th: Ky Vet: $7.10

12th: Footlick $4.30

Another minor correction to the scoring -- The Keymaster's score is actually $10.20, as opposed to the $4.30 I had previously posted.

29 Sep 2012 7:33 PM
-Keelerman

Here are the standings after race #9 . . .

1st: Age of Reason $55.80

2nd: Monarchos Matt $41.80

3rd: Mary Zinke $29.80

4th: JayJay $27.70

4th: Zenyatta - P.P. $27.70

6th: swede $22.90

7th: Pete Denk $20.10

8th: Senator L $17.50

9th: Keelerman: $16.50

10th: The Keymaster $10.20

11th: Ky Vet: $7.10

12th: Footlick $4.30

29 Sep 2012 8:48 PM
-Keelerman

In an effort to try and improve my finishing position, I am going to switch my Awesome Again Stakes selection to Nonios. :)

29 Sep 2012 8:48 PM
JayJay

Congrats Age Of Reason!  I'll call ya "The Quiet PRO" from now on.  Nice job by Monarchos Matt as well, one race made the difference.  I'm happy to be tied for 4th :)  This was a fun contest.  A big thanks to Pete and specially Keelerman for his idea and the great scoring update.  It made it an exciting contest.

We have to do this again for the BC races (both days), hopefully Keelerman is up for keeping the score hehe :)

29 Sep 2012 9:07 PM
JayJay

Congrats Age Of Reason!  I'll call ya "The Quiet PRO" from now on.  Nice job by Monarchos Matt as well, one race made the difference.  I'm happy to be tied for 4th :)  This was a fun contest.  A big thanks to Pete and specially Keelerman for his idea and the great scoring update.  It made it an exciting contest.

We have to do this again for the BC races (both days), hopefully Keelerman is up for keeping the score hehe :)

29 Sep 2012 9:07 PM
JayJay

Oh and just wanted to mention that today is Zenyatta day and that I'm honored to have my name NEXT to Zenyatta's name (tied for 4th lol.)

29 Sep 2012 9:11 PM
Age of Reason

Thank you, JayJay. *blush* I agree, this was a lot of fun and I would love to do it again sometime if Pete and Keelerman are down! Compliments to Nina Kaiser on Santa Anita's exquisite new statue, she truly did Zenyatta justice. Long live the Queen!

29 Sep 2012 9:21 PM
Kevin

I've always heard never do math in public, but did the final results mean only the top 2 made a profit?  I didn't post but would have lost money too, I singled Royal Delta, Lumber, Shackelford, Point of Entry, and Game on Dude.  None of my other picks were ITM.  All chalk.  

Anyone know why Sutherland was taken off Game on Dude?    

29 Sep 2012 9:45 PM
-Keelerman

Drumroll please . . . here are the final results!

Here are the standings after race #9 . . .

1st: Age of Reason $60.60

2nd: Monarchos Matt $46.60

3rd: Mary Zinke $34.60

4th: JayJay $32.50

4th: Zenyatta - P.P. $32.50

6th: swede $22.90

7th: Senator L $22.30

8th: Keelerman: $21.30

9th: Pete Denk $20.10

10th: The Keymaster $15.00

11th: Ky Vet: $7.10

12th: Footlick $4.30

Congratulations to Age of Reason, who picked an exceptional six winners to win the contest! The bragging rights are yours -- minus, of course, Pete's 30%. :)

Thanks to everyone who took part! I'm glad you all enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun. Now, we just have to interpret these results to the best of our abilities and decide how they will influence the outcome of the Breeders' Cup . . . not an easy task!

JayJay;

I'm glad you enjoyed my scoring updates. I had a lot of fun compiling them. And should we hold a similar contest for the Breeders' Cup, I would be more than happy to keep score again.

By the way, congratulations on your exceptional selection of The Lumber Guy in the Vosburgh Stakes!

-Keelerman

29 Sep 2012 10:05 PM
Mary Zinke

Congratulations to Age Of Reason. Thank you Keelerman for keeping the scores and thanks to both Keelerman and Pete for the contest. It was fun.

29 Sep 2012 10:26 PM
Kevin

Anyone looking at the JHenry at Santa Anita on Sunday?  Turbo Compressor (off last) and Burboun Courage (layoff) look vulnerable. If true, the rest look evenly matched.  Kind of like the #4.  Thoughts?  

29 Sep 2012 10:29 PM
JayJay

Kevin : It was a decision by the owner supported by Baffert.  They just decided that they're going to use their main man Bejarano.  I don't necessarily agree but that's why they're the owners and I'm the blogger lol.

29 Sep 2012 10:37 PM
Mary Zinke

I'd like Slim Shadey to win the John Henry, Kevin. Just thinking that it looks good for Acclamation if he does. Too bad it's not a grade 1. Slim Shadey has both an aoc and a grade 2 10f turf win at Santa Anita last winter. He's had some time off since the Eddie Read, but hopefully he comes back with a win tomorrow.

29 Sep 2012 10:47 PM
Footlick

It was a great performance by your girl.  I could have picked her to win, but I would never bet her at the odds, so I picked the way I would have bet.  I wasn't really trying to pick the winners no matter what the odds because I would never do that.  So I picked horses that should have run well and were at enough odds that the payoff would amount to something.  Oh well.  Congrats to Age of Reason!

29 Sep 2012 11:55 PM
GunBow

Wow, lots of strong performances in these 10 grade 1s.  Except for the Flower Bowl, each race was one decisively.  Most of the big horses ran well, which meant smaller payoffs, especially at Santa Anita where it was extremely formful.

At Belmont, big performances from Royal Delta(but can she put 2 big performances together?), the top 4 in the Flower Bowl(Zagora triple teamed by the Euros), and Point of Entry(but it wasn't as easy this time, and that was a 2nd tier Euro).

Jersey Town ran well(but does he really want a two-turn mile?), as did The Lumber Guy(seemed a weak rendition of the Vosburgh), and both received a prelim Beyer of 110, but I'm not buying those figs for a second.  No way that was a 110 Beyer Vosburgh.

Flat Out and Stay Thirsty(and they were the only ones) ran well in the JCGC, but I have serious reservations about their ability to transfer this form to Santa Anita for the Classic.  

Flat Out's 3 career best races have come at Belmont, and Stay Thirsty seems to be capable of running well only in NY.  Normally, I would say look to the also-rans for horses that could jump up and run well in the Classic under very different circumstances, but the also-rans ran very poorly.  I suppose I have to give Ron another shot given his Big Cap.

At Santa Anita, big performances from the Baffert 2 year olds, the sublime Executiveprivelege and the brute Power Broker, with the latter actually running 2/5ths faster.  

Love and Pride exposed what I had repeatedly declared to be a weak group of Cali maintrack females, and backed up her grade 1 score in the Personal Ensign with another grade 1.  

On the sod, Marketing Mix similarly exposed what has been a group of Cali female turfers that has been weak since the tragic death of Tuscan Evening in the summer of 2010.  Maybe had Lady of Shamrock run the home team would have fared better, but I doubt it  given how decisive and easy Marketing Mix won.  She is a really, really good mare.

Finally, Game on Dude received an ideal prep in winning the Awesome Again for fun.  He was able to avoid any duel early by settling in 2nd, opened up when Raphy pushed the button, and was cruising through the stretch as Nonios chased him while all-out.  The latter returned to his Affirmed, Swaps, and Haskell form, and maybe improved on it, but that was likely the best Nonios can do while Game on Dude didn't have to dig very deep.  Still, Nonios is a 3 year old with a future, although I'm not sold on him at 10 furlongs in a race like the Classic.  

Richard's Kid was one of the few horses to make up ground in the stretch in the 4 maintrack stakes, but he was beaten almost 8 lengths and for the 2nd time in a row finished behind a 3 year old.  He simply wasn't as explosive on dirt.  Rail Trip needs to cut back in distance and probably needs synth.  Suggestive Boy needs a mile on turf.

DRF's prelim Belmont Beyers

Jersey Town- 110

The Lumber Guy- 110

Flat Out-109

Royal Delta- 106

Point of Entry- 105

MY prelim SA Beyers:

Game on Dude- 108

Love and Pride- 101

Power Broker- 90

Executiveprivelege-87

Marketing Mix-97/98

30 Sep 2012 2:51 AM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

Congrats Age of Reason for the great picking.I like to compete and was wondering if you would like to have a contest at Keeneland?

30 Sep 2012 6:57 AM
Pedigree Ann

Anybody heard what happened with Ron the Greek? He was never in the race at any point. Even though the track carried some front-runners farther than usual, he ought to at least have been running on at some point. Did he grab a quarter or something? This run was too bad to be true.

30 Sep 2012 10:36 AM
Pete Denk

Congrats to Age of Reason, who aced this contest. Also a nice, profitable showing by Monarchos Matt.

Thanks Keelerman for doing the math. Much appreciated. I went up to Keeneland yesterday beginning with the Beldame, and their wireless wouldn't work...turned small profit on the day.

Be back with a column in a couple days to digest what we saw this weekend.

Kauai Katie runs in the Matron today. She's my top rated East Coast 2yo filly and second rated overall to Executiveprivilege, who put on a show yesterday. I hope the Dreaming of Julia money still shows up at the BC. ;)

30 Sep 2012 10:46 AM
Pete Denk

Ann-

I agree that RTG should have showed more, although I did not expect him to win on that surface.

Price just went up in the BC Classic for those of us willing to toss that effort and stick by him. :)

30 Sep 2012 11:09 AM
Linda in Texas

Pete and Keelerman - I think Jay Jay should be rewarded extra points for having a gray, my favorites as you know, win The Vosburgh - The Lumber Guy. Love to watch him run.

Looks like KY VET and Footlick might have to take a cab together and split the fare to make it home! :)(kidding Footlick sort of, i do enjoy your posts). I am not a handicapper but i love to read the jibes and comments.

And Game On Dude. What a competitor. Point of Entry was awesome but Royal Delta stepped up today and showed them what she has in her tank.

I loved the contest. Hope it will continue as a regular happening.

Thanks Pete for letting a non handicapper have a little fun with the 'experts' and all the kibbitzing that goes on here.

30 Sep 2012 11:21 AM
JayJay

Thanks Keelerman and Linda in Texas, I just thought his speed would hold cutting back in distance and when I saw who's riding him, I thought he's got a really good shot.

Hopefully I can move up in the next contest if Pete agrees to do another one for the BC races.

I don't think RTG liked the track.  The speed was holding up and after a few races, I knew RTG will have his work cut out for him.  Santa Anita is a different track though so I'm still on his wagon.  Flat out was flat out good, it was the type of run i was expecting from RTG, glad Mott got it anyway.  Anyone else thinks Todd called an audible on Stay Thirsty ?  Going to the lead ?  It seems to me they played their hand based on how the track was playing and they almost got it.

Know More... I'm not sure if he's going to be one of those that excels on synthetics but I haven't given up on him.  I think he's still improving.  I'm following him for the Derby, I don't really care much about how many times he wins or loses as a juvenile.  I just want to see him improve and learn as a 2 yr old.  It would be really nice to see him the BC though and be the champion 2 yr old.  None of which will matter if he doesn't transition his form to 3.

Most exciting race and horse for me was Point of Entry.  I tried to beat him with Treasured Beach but when they hit the stretch, I knew Spencer was done lol.  

30 Sep 2012 12:37 PM
JayJay

CHIEF PICAWINNA : Why didn't you post your 10 G1 picks for the contest ?  Do you save yourself and challenge only the winners of contests ? lol

Age Of Reason : KY VET will still call himself a PRO in his posts.  Even after his multiple tries and attempt to pick a winner, which resulted in less than stellar results lol , but know that you're the true PRO and will enjoy your posts as "the" PRO :)

30 Sep 2012 12:59 PM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

No Jay Jay I posted my picks on the equibase contest online.BTW I saw your picks you seem to take a stab at horses that are not so obvious, I think this is your tendency as I remember(Ihope Im right)you play inexpensive pic 3s,is that you?I only post my picks on here when I think I really have a good chance and preferably not the favorite if it is the favorite in a field in which you will get a good price.

30 Sep 2012 3:16 PM
Footlick

That's ok, Linda In Texas.  If I wouldn;t bet a horse because their odds are too short, then I won't pick them in a contest either.  So, I never do well in these contests.  But, two of my picks did scratch, two ran horribly (both Asmussen, I believe), thought Hit It Rich would have run better but she didn't, but knew Nahrain would be tough if she came back to form, Treasure Beach was going to run well, and it was a good gauge as to how Point if Entry might stack up against better Euros, Hymn Book didn't run well, Stormy Lucy ran fine.  I knew the distance might not suit Amani and dirt might not suit Suggestive Boy.  But, I could not have bet Royal Delta or Game On Dude or Point of Entry because of the odds regardless.  I would have never picked Lumber, so that would never have been a choice for me.  Executivepriviledge was too low of odds, as was Marketing Mix.  And I knew the Baffert 2 yr old had a chance to win.  And would naot have bet Pletcher's horse in the Zenyatta.  So there you have it.  I've never said I was a handicapper.  I really only follow Euro racing anymore.  I couldn't believe the payout on Nahrain, who I did bet, by the way.  Decent odds for a horse who should have been lower.

30 Sep 2012 4:21 PM
JayJay

I play inexpesive P4s and P5s, there's not that many .50 P3s from the main tracks.  I normally pick horses in my P4 and P5s based on morning line and how I think they'll get played, who the favorite is and which jockeys are in the race.

30 Sep 2012 5:15 PM
JayJay

Footlick : I take it you use an online account to play the EU racing ?  Also, does this mean you're up at night playing and resting during the day?  I've become addicted to Aussie racing although I can't play it all the time but I do play as much as I can.

30 Sep 2012 6:23 PM
Footlick

JayJay- yes, when I bet it is an online acct.  I'm not really a big bettor, though,  Just when I think the odds are right.  I was torn as to whether to really even list horses as I knew I wouldn't go and pick favorites, but I did.  My fault.  If people asked me to pick the Champion coming up, I would preface it with, "Other than Frankel, maybe I would take a stab at......".  It is nice to pick winners but doesn't do it for me if the winners are expected.  To me, it would be a race I wouldn't bet. I did put a bet down on Nahrain when I saw her odds, but picked Hit It Rich because I thought she would be bigger odds.  Hit It Rich didn;t run well, but Nahrain did, so even though I lost the race in the contest I won on the track.  Anyway, I don't want to go on about it.  Yes, I bet overseas with an online account.

30 Sep 2012 7:44 PM
Monarchos Matt

Age of Reason- nice pick with Nahrain. Looks like that's the only thing that separated us! She also ruined my Pick 3, and I had the next three finishers below her in there, but such is life. I didn't see her beating those three and she proved me wrong. She should be a serious force again on Breeders' Cup Day.

The Jockey Club was a great race and I am so happy Flat Out was able to repeat. Ron the Greek didn't get the pace he needed, but he'll get it in the Classic. That couldn't have worked out any better as Flat Out will now probably go off at lower odds while the Classic is still Ron's to lose in my opinion.

Fun day of racing for sure, and went 4-2 with the football in the meantime.

30 Sep 2012 8:10 PM
Kevin

Mary, good call on Slim Shady.  My#4 was right there for a piece but got passed on the wire.  

30 Sep 2012 8:24 PM
Mary Zinke

Kevin, I thought Slim Shadey was going out a little too fast--so glad he wasn't caught. Had 5wps, the ex, but not the super.

30 Sep 2012 8:42 PM
JayJay

Footlick : No worries, I'm pretty much the same way, worse actuallly.  I lose a lot of bet for not including the favorites because my goal is to win a lot, I start playing favorites towards the end of the day when I'm not hitting anything at all lol.  I see people betting $20 to win on a 2-5 and I still don't know why they do that.   That's an $8 profit and it's not a sure bet all the time.

Anyway, how do you think PoE will do against the Euros coming ?  It's pretty evident he can beat the US horses.

30 Sep 2012 9:53 PM
GunBow

That was the Slim Shadey the I and others out here in Cali picked to beat Acclamation in the Whittingham.  Shadey couldn't beat Acclamation that day, but he ran a very good 2nd before owner and/or trainer kind of lost it by shipping cross-country for the UN Cap 4 weeks later(after having run in Kentucky the race prior to the Whittingham) and then compounding that error by running 2 weeks after the UN in the Eddie Read back in Cali.  Fortunately, these misadventures didn't spoil him for the rest of the year.  Slim Shadey won the John Henry as much the best.

Hopefully, this also quiets the critics of Accalamtion.  Has Acclamation beaten an Arc winner? No.  But the list of horses he has beaten isn't bad at all:

Battle of Hastings, Bourbon Bay, Celtic New Year, Jeranimo, Caracortado, Smart Bid, Twirling Candy, Game on Dude, Setsuko, Champ Pegasus, Slim Shadey(twice this year), Casino Host, and Interaction.

Speaking of Bourbon Bay, the John Henry was clearly just a prep as 10 furlongs is too short for him these days.  I would have liked to have seen him outfinish horses like Grassy and Casino Host, but he was actually running up on horses heels in deep stretch and was beaten just 3/4ths of a length for 3rd.  Bejarano gallopped him out extensively after the race.  He's probably not good enough to win the BC Turf, but he very easily could be the top finisher in the Turf from this race.

01 Oct 2012 6:05 AM
lunar spook

PEDIGREE ANN- I can tell you exactly what happened to ron the greek , he was exposed for the overrated horse hes always been , hes not a has been , hes a never was !

01 Oct 2012 8:37 AM
Footlick

JayJay-I'll have to see who is actually coming and really watch the race again to assess how Treasure Beach did.  Treasure Beach is not among the top horses in Europe and I need to figure out how much Lasix improves him. Point of Entry is a nice horse and it is nice to see Shug and Phipps back with a contender.  But I'm not sure Euros will be afraid.

01 Oct 2012 10:02 AM
Pedigree Ann

Lunar Spook - hmmm. A horse is first or second in all of his races this year, often giving weight and/or pace advantage. Beats Wise Dan, Flat Out, Nates Mineshaft, Fort Larned, etc. Runs one bad race and suddenly he's chopped liver?

And before we award Point of Entry the Turf Eclipse, may I mention another multiple G1 turf winner by the name of Acclamation? He's been battling a physical problem this year, but if he shows up healthy at SA (he would have to be supplemented, so they won't pay the money unless he's ready to go), Point of Entry better watch out.

01 Oct 2012 10:11 AM
Age of Reason

Monarchos Matt,

Yeah, I'll definitely be swearing by Nahrain from now on lol. Go to YouTube sometime and watch her awesome win in last year's Prix de l'Opera (Fr-I); she showed good tactical speed while never more than a few lengths off the lead, displayed good athleticism to escape from a pocket on the rail in the final straight, and finished up with a final furlong in about :11.7. What got me, though, was that Longchamp's turf that weekend was about as firm as you'll ever see in Europe, and after Nahrain was beaten narrowly in the F&M Turf (on turf probably on the firm side, by European standards) I made a mental note to watch her in any future North American starts. Trainer Roger Varian says she may stay here to prepare for the Breeders Cup (good idea!), and with two Grade/Group I scores already at the BC distance of 10 furlongs, she'll definitely by my pick in the F&M Turf this year barring anything unforeseen!

01 Oct 2012 10:26 AM
lunar spook

PEDIGREE ANN- RON THE GEEK has won 5 of 19 starts , lets dont make him more than he is , his best days are now behind him as he is in a downward spiral, bout time for the stud shed !

01 Oct 2012 11:21 AM
JayJay

Footlick : Yeah, I guess we'll have to wait.  I thought you might have an idea of who will be coming from EU to join the party.

Wow Lunar Spook, that's pretty harsh comments about RTG.  A horse that won G1 races on both coast this year.  He may not be a "beast" but this horse belongs if not the best older horse right now.  RTG has done much better than your horse To Honor and Serve this year with his two G1s and a 2nd in the Whitney and Sunshine Millions while THAS has one G1 (Woodward) and a G3 (Westchester).  THAS has also been beaten twice by Trickmeister who I think is a G3 horse.   You said something about being overrated ?

01 Oct 2012 12:35 PM
lunar spook

JAY JAY- BET YOU IF THEY BOTH RUN IN THE CLASSIC , TO HONOR AND SERVE FINISHES AHEAD OF RON THE GEEK , JUST SAYING !

01 Oct 2012 2:21 PM
lunar spook

JAY JAY- You were wondering how your idol point of entry whom you have been drooling over will fare against the euros? not well im afraid , they OWN the turf , you better pray they dont send DANEDREAM over here !

01 Oct 2012 2:49 PM
Age of Reason

All these juvenile comments by Looney Spook are clearly trolling and best ignored completely. The fact that s/he didn't have the guts to compete in the handicapping contest with the rest of us, only to come along after the fact and lecture several of you like children, tells me all I need to know.

01 Oct 2012 3:42 PM
lunar spook

AGE OF REASON- Had i known about your contest in time i would have entered it , looney spook ? whos being juvenile now ? i will post all my picks for the breeders cup , will you ? p.s. if my comments should be ignored completly why did you respond?

01 Oct 2012 4:08 PM
Rusty Weisner

Age of Reason,

Well said.

What bothers me about this junk is that it actually chases away valuable commenters.  I remember bohemia_stable, for one, just got sick of it.

01 Oct 2012 4:15 PM
LAZMANICK

Rusty

Great comment.

Age Of Reason.

I missed the weekend and just tuned in.  A very herty Congrats.

Jayjay.

Ignor all those that are on a lunar mission.  Lunar and looney, they sound pretty close to me.

01 Oct 2012 5:34 PM
Footlick

Danedream out of the Arc as she may have been exposed to Swamp Fever and is in quarantine for 3 months.  Another blow, as Snow Fairy is out with an injury.  Maybe they will send Camelot after all.

01 Oct 2012 6:03 PM
JayJay

lunar spook : Where did I say I idolize Point of Entry?  If you're paying attention, I actually bet against him in the Hirsch.  I don't know how he will do against the Euros hence the question to Footlick, someone who I think is the resident expert on Euro horses.

Does it bug you that much that there are more people interested in what happened to RTG than THAS ?  I don't see any one commenting on THAS' race.  It's possible that he will run the best race of his life in the BC but the reason I will never bet on THAS is that he's very inconsistent.     RTG has been running like a racehorse except for his last race which I said he didn't like the track and that's what Lezcano told Mott.  How come no comment from you on THAS or Fort Larned yet you're blasting RTG ?  I mean, one bad race is considered a downward spiral ?

Hey Laz : WB man, yeah you missed a fun handicapping contest.  Looking forward to your picks for the BC races.

01 Oct 2012 8:39 PM
Monarchos Matt

Age of Reason- Ya, I probably should have given her a second look based on how well she ran in last year's BC, but that field was a bit weak I felt and her form in Europe this year wasn't exactly jumping off the page. I still think she may have benefited from a bit softer turf that the other three didn't like, but you say she has run very well on firm ground as well, so I would agree with you that she appears the horse to beat on BC Day. The F & M Turf race could actually be one of the better Friday races, with the top 4 Flower Bowl finishers, Marketing Mix, and potentially Mystical Star or Aruna if they return to form (we should see this weekend).

Lunar Spook- I would be quite surprised to see THAS finish ahead of Ron the Greek. It's true that Ron didn't have much excuse for his poor showing Saturday, but closers in general didn't fare well in that race--Flat Out was placed pretty tactically throughout and the fact that Stay Thirsty was able to stay so well riding the rail after showing such poor form all year should tell you all you need to know about how the track was playing. For me, I'm just as glad- I cashed on Flat Out for the win and now my Classic pick will be at elevated odds in a race that figures to have a ton of pace, and run over a track where he has won before at the 10f distance, which cannot be said about Belmont, which as I am sure you know is a bit of an odd configuration to begin with.

01 Oct 2012 9:02 PM
Footlick

Nathaniel now out of the Arc.  Rumblings that Great Heavens, a filly might be supplemented. Also, suddenly Aiden is considering Camelot more strongly for the Arc.  He was always pointing SNA to it.  If the ground is suitable, Great Heavens could be a nice long shot.  Orfevre is the solid favorie at the moment.  Sea Moon is running, and Meandre could certainly improve off his last run.  Can't wait until everyone is declared.

02 Oct 2012 1:20 PM
JayJay

Footlick : The Arc is next weekend correct ?  I wonder if xpressbet will cover that race.  I just saw the lineup, I'm still amazed at how much these horses carries and how far they run.

02 Oct 2012 3:10 PM
Footlick

JayJay- it is Sunday the 7th.  TVG is taking bets on it, I think.  Sometimes there are off track sites who show the Arc also, and they usually take betting on it.  Of course the best is to have a friend in England and they can just make the bets for you.  Not sure if I am betting this Arc yet.  Want to see who comes to run since so many have dropped out.  I'm expecting Camelot and St Nicholas Abbey to run.

02 Oct 2012 5:47 PM
THE KEYMASTER

JayJay,

Yes, the Arc is this Sunday and will be on xpressbet (or at least it has been in the past).

The favorite Orfevre is a very good horse.  So good that Cecil knew all along to not even dare try to stretch Frankel out to 12f and go up against Orferve.

I recommend watching Orferve's first race this year, the 15f (1 7/8 mile) G2 Arima Kinen, as a very entertaining race to watch.  While he finishes second, it is clear he is the best horse in the race.  He runs off with the jockey the final time down the backstretch, blows the turn, then rallies while circling the field to finish second.  It doesn't appear the below link copied correctly, but you can look it up on YouTube.  Orverve is the #12 horse.

www.youtube.com/watch

Orfevre then didn't fire in his next race, which was a 2 mile race in Japan that was an oddly run (if I recall correctly, lone speed won, which you wouldn't expect going 2 miles).

Then Orfevre won an 11f G1 in Japan, and in his latest start, he prepped at Longchamp easliy winning the 12f G2 Prix Foy.

If I can get 3-1 or better in the Arc on Orfevre, I'm going to play.

02 Oct 2012 5:51 PM
Footlick

JayJay- just looked at xpressbet and it lists Arc de Triomphe as a track and has USA after it.  Tht may be a special showing, as I do not know any track by that name in the US.  You will have to do more research, but it probably will have betting for the Arc.  Longchamp is not one of their listed tracks.

02 Oct 2012 5:58 PM
Footlick

Another comical comment about Cecil and Frankel.  They are afraid of nobody.  If you know anything about Cecil, you would know he plans out a horses season and sticks to it.  Period.  And btw, he has never ever talked about running Frankel at 12f, and it has nothing to do with Orfevre.

02 Oct 2012 7:11 PM
THE KEYMASTER

Frankel is bred to get 12f.  Why didn't they include plans to stretch him out to 12f to culminate in the Arc?  Frankel's 3/4 brother Bullet Train won at 11f and ran in two 12f races before being made Frankel's pacesetter.

Maybe it was because there was a horse named Orferve that dominated the Japanese triple crown last year, made 12f+ look easy as a 3-year-old, and beat older horses.

I suspect Cecil had Orferve in the back of his mind (as well as Black Caviar) when deciding the plans for Frankel this year.    Conveniently, Frankel was able to duck Black Caviar going under a mile and then duck everyone else of quality going over a mile (with the exception of his last 10f race).  Yes, Frankel is a very good horse and a great miler, but why wasn't he given a chance to prove himself in the world's most prestigious turf race?  I guess it would be ashame if he was made to look like an ordinary horse by Orfevre.

I see no other reason why it was not in the plans to give Frankel a shot in the Arc.  It's not like Frankel was bred to be a sprinter and 12f is absurd.

03 Oct 2012 9:31 AM
Footlick

Breeding is only one component, THE KEYMASTER.  Cecil had always said the problem with stretching Frankel out was mental maturity.  He hadn't shown the ability to just sit and wait until the jock told him to go until his last two races.  All the races before that he would pull early and was very keen.  If you would read everything that has been said about him, you would know the reason why he had not been stretched out until now.  Cecil has never, ever talked about racing him at 12f.  Probably because a horse, no matter how good they are, cannot win at 12f pulling or fighting the jock.  Breeding is only one component.  Cecil, I'm sure, could care less about Orfevre as he is only concerned with his horses.  

As far as Black Caviar, a 7 furlong match race was proposed by Racing Post.  Black Caviar's people turned it down flat.  A meeting with Frankel was turned down by them period.  Not Frankel's connections.  You need to read more.

As far as ducking, everyone knew where Frankel was running.  Nobody wanted to run against him.  Aiden got tired of Excelebration chasing him.  Then Excelebration goes and easily wins a gr1 in France.  Which of those horses that Excelebration beat do you want Frankel to ship and run against?

Fourth, I would take what Cecil has stated about Frankel and draw your conclusions from that, instead of putting thoughts in his head.  Unless you are part of his organization or are a personal friend of his, you have no idea what is in his mind.  

03 Oct 2012 10:47 AM
THE KEYMASTER

I figure a great trainer with a great horse should be able to accomplish more than what the horse has been blessed with in raw talent.  If this is not the case, maybe Cecil should turn to training Quarter Horses.

Oh, I remember the proposed match race between Frankel and Black Caviar... it was going to screw up Black Caviar's travel plans due to quarantine rules.  At least Black Caviar traveled out of her territory for a race... Frankel has not.

I'm not ignorant enough to believe everything I read in the media (and what Cecil has said).  Do you really believe that trainers tell the media everything that is really going on in their minds?

Why would you expect horses to travel to Frankel to run for less money?  What is the top purse that has been offered in any race that Frankel has been in?  Every race that Frankel has been in has a purse less than $1,000,000 USD.

While Frankel is a very good horse with tons of natural ability and he is a wonderful physical specimen, I would argue that Zarkava and Sea the Stars were both better horses than Frankel.

As a human being, it is my given right to draw my own conclusions and opinions.  I did not try to put any words in Sir Henry's mouth, I just voiced what my opinion based on what I have witnessed with Frankel.

Sorry I don't have my head jammed up myself with so much British pride that I cannot look beyond what Sir Henry and the British media have said.

03 Oct 2012 11:54 AM
THE KEYMASTER

P.S.

If they really wanted to honor the person for whom Frankel was named for, they would Frankel over for the Breeders Cup at Santa Anita as opposed to taking the easy route on British Champions day.  However, I guess that is all Frankel really is... a British Champion, certainly not a World Champion.

03 Oct 2012 12:18 PM
Footlick

Obviously you have some ax to grind.  And I'm American, so I don't have any British pride.  You go believe what you want.  I gave you facts out of the connections mouths and you would rather deal with your own

When they proposed the match race, Black Caviar was going to be in England for two races.  They changed their minds, their itinerary and their desire to face Frankel at a distance that would be fair to both horses.

You can think anything you want about Sir Henry.  His record and success speaks for himself.  He doesn't need you or anyone else to tell him how to train a horse.

I'm not going to make this a prolonged discussion.  This is my last comment.

03 Oct 2012 12:59 PM
JayJay

I watched Orfevre's race that Bill posted and that was pretty impressive.  Either that field was really really weak or Orfevre is really good.  I read he's won the Japanese Triple Crown but again, I don't know how japanese horses stack up with EU or American horses.  I'll have to research all Arc horses to find my longshot but I'm not sold on Orfevre yet having seen one japanese race.

As for Frankel, I doubt very much that Cecil is afraid of Orfevre, this discussion reminds me a lot of Zenyatta and we all know that Zenyatta would spank them boys, yes, both of them on dirt :) lol.

03 Oct 2012 1:27 PM
Footlick

Not sure my post went through, so I'm reposting.  JayJay-I have no problem with Orfevre.  He is a top horse and was an impressive 3 yr old.  His Arc prep win was not spectacular, but Soumillon was pleased with his work.  The course will be good to soft because of rains.  They said it may be testing which would play into his stamina strength.  I haven't looked at his soft turf form, so I can't comment on that.

03 Oct 2012 1:45 PM
Pete Denk

I view Frankel's connections as dodging a test -- afraid to try 12f, the Arc, or to travel and face American horses on their home turf -- rather than dodging any specific horse.

03 Oct 2012 2:26 PM
Footlick

That's too bad, Pete.  I hope you feel the same about Wise Dan if he runs in the Mile instead of the BCC

03 Oct 2012 2:53 PM
Footlick

And it would be interesting to hear which turf horses Frankel is ducking as they had said numerous times he wouldn't run on dirt.

03 Oct 2012 2:56 PM
Pete Denk

I will probably be betting against Wise Dan in either spot, but would rather bet against him going 10f than 8f.

03 Oct 2012 3:03 PM
THE KEYMASTER

My apologies Footlick... your posts ooze the same British pompous attitude regarding Cecil and Frankel that I have heard from every Brit I have encounterd on the subject.

While I would agree that UK based horses are generally the best turf horses in the world, I would disagree that Frankel should be crowned King for his accomplishments thus far.  A great miler in the UK is the only title that Frankel should be able to claim.

Even Zenyatta logged more travel miles than Frankel and she was crucified for not traveling much outside of Cali.

JayJay... Japanese horses have improved in leaps and bounds in recent years.

Japanese horse Deep Impact ran a close 3rd in the Arc in 2006, but was disqualified due to a drug positive.  In 2011, Jap horses ran 1st and 2nd in the Dubai World Cup.

I think Orfevre will prove to be the best horse of them all.  I've been tracking Orfevre since last year.  Orfevre is ultra talented, although he does appear to not be 100% mentally sound. However, Orfevre was brought over to France early and given a prep race at Longchamp, so he won't have an excuse Sunday if he doesn't show up.

Even though the Aga Khan's Shareta has been ridden regularly by Lemaire, I found it encouraging to know that Frenchman Soumillon was taking the mount on Orfevre.

I'm really glad Camelot has entered the race.  Now the odds on Orfevre may be enticing enough to place a wager on.

03 Oct 2012 3:07 PM
Pete Denk

Footlick-

I specifically said I don't think they are dodging horses.

But they are clearly afraid to try 12f with him in the Arc. Nor do they want to risk travelling and losing to American horses.

03 Oct 2012 3:12 PM
THE KEYMASTER

What does Wise Dan have to do with anything regarding Frankel?  Nobody is claiming that Wise Dan is a superhorse, although he is very talented and can take his track with him.  10f is probably beyond what Wise Dan wants, so I would put him in the Mile too.

I've heard many people say that Frankel is one of the greatest horses ever, which I would dispute.

Also, nobody is saying to run Frankel in the BCC on dirt.  That would not be fair to him, as that is not what he was bred and trained to do.

However, Frankel was bred and trained to win at 8f+ on turf, so why not enter the Mile.  That would be a great tribute to Bobby Frankel, who was based at SA for years.

Rather, Frankel will be kept at home to demolish inferior competition, so they can send him off to stud undefeated and claim he was one the the greatest ever.

03 Oct 2012 3:19 PM
Footlick

Sorry Pete- maybe I misinterpreted.  I don't want to go over ground I already went over in previous posts.  Brigadier Gerard never raced at 12f and it didn't hurt his rep.  If they feel he isn't suited to the 12f trip, they shouldn't run, IMO.  Obviously others have a different view.  They certainly have never said in any of his years racing that they would ship to the BC.  If you and others feel it is out of fear, that's the way it is.

03 Oct 2012 3:24 PM
Footlick

Racing Post had an article saying his connections should reconsider and run in the BCC, as they feel it is a better race for him.  But I was asking if he was dodging a test by not running in the Classic, that is all.

03 Oct 2012 3:27 PM
JayJay

Footlick :  Yeah, I just watched Orfevre' Prix Foy 2012 race.  I'm sure I'll play him but I don't know if I'll go all in on him.  The one horse so far I've watched that's pretty impressive is Saonois.  In the Prix Du Jockey Club, really liked the way his jockey worked him around horses in the middle of the pack (over 20 horses) without using him much, then started getting on him in the last furlong.  He did the same in the Prix Niel, stayed on the rail thoughout and split horses in the last furlong.  I thought both races were pretty impressive.  I'm not sure how he'll do with the expected soft turf but I'm liking him a lot.  I have no idea what kind of odds I'll get on him but I'm going to be playing him.  Are you familiar with him at all ?

Watch his Prix Du Jockey Race, you'll have to click forward to 07:20 for the start of the race, the first 7 minutes is the post parade lol.  He's number 17, wearing blue with yellow stars silks :

www.youtube.com/watch

I also watched Camelot's races and that horse can run but he'll probably need an honest pace and with the expected soft turf (as you said) I don't know if he can close like he did in the Epsom.  Also,  if I'm reading this correctly, he's the highweight at 145 ?   I'm thinking Imperial Monarch will set the pace for him to run at, I don't see Astrology in the lineup at all.

Also watched Shareta's Prix Vermeille's race which was also pretty impressive, liked the way he separated himself at the top of the stretch.

I'm taking a break at watching these french races, it was weird watching a horse race without an announcer (Prix Niel).

03 Oct 2012 3:29 PM
Footlick

I looked at your statement "dodging any specific horse" Pete.  So I thought there might be horses you were thinking about.  I know Sir Henry has not been e amounted with the American courses of late, feeling they are ill- kept.

03 Oct 2012 3:31 PM
Footlick

THE KEYMASTER- no apologies needed.  I just don't want to go on and on about something obviously neither of us will agree with.  But if you go on Racing Post, you will see there are many comments criticizing Frankel and his campaign.

As far as Orfevre, his task has gotten considerably easier with defections.  Not sure how much sway Camelot will have on his odds as Soumillon liked his last piece of work. The Arc is far from predictable though and is a difficult race.  Soumillon's report is encouraging for Orfevre as he did say he would have to find better form to win the Arc, and he seems to think he has come on since his prep.  What is his experience with softer, maybe even testing ground?

03 Oct 2012 3:38 PM
Footlick

JayJay- Saonois is one of those horses who gets no respect.  What he does has been impressive, and he should be at decent odds.  There has always been a question of how much class he has, and he has always had an answer so far.  It will be a step up for him again.

There was nothing wrong with Orfevre's prep except most seemed to expect more.  Instead of a brilliant win, he turned in a workmanlike win.  As I said, Soumillon was pleased with his last work for the Arc so we will go from there.

Shareta's Vermeille certainly was the best of the Arc preps and she was impressive.  She seems to be coming into her own and has acted better on softer ground than last year.

Those cannot be the weights, JayJay.  The Arc is weight for age.

03 Oct 2012 4:01 PM
Footlick

E amounted should have been enamored.  Sorry

03 Oct 2012 4:02 PM
THE KEYMASTER

Thanks Footlick... I can agree to disagree.

I know there are some British people who will knock Frankel.  However, I have grown tired of hearing the many Brits (that I personally know) go on and on about Frankel when they used to knock Zenyatta for similar reasons that you could knock Frankel.

The bookmakers seem to think Camelot will now take favoritism, where Orfevre would have been the favorite had Camelot not run.  I welcome the challenge of Camelot and while I think he is a very good horse, I think Orfevre is better.

Orferve won the Japanese Derby going 12f on soft turf and won the Prix Foy at Longchamp going 12f on good to soft ground.  I would like to point out that Japanese turf courses are somewhat if a hybrid between the US and Europe... as they are typically oval in shape like the US, but they are not flat and have undulations like in Europe.

As a side note, my blacksmith is a British guy and I talk European racing more with him than anyone.  We have both been watching Orfevre since last year as a potential Arc horse for this year.  So I am a bit of an Orfevre fan because it is alway exciting to watch opinions come to fruition, especially if you can cash in on them.

03 Oct 2012 4:08 PM
LAZMANICK

Footlick:

I tend to agree with you.  Early on and for most of his career, Frankel didn’t appear to be able to relax enough to get 12F.  After his last, in particular, I believe that Frankel has learned to relax and I think he would get the distance no problem.  I don’t think of his connections as dodging, but rather sticking to the plan they had originally mapped out.

You are wrong about one thing.  Brigadier Gerard did race and win at 12F, the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.  

03 Oct 2012 4:09 PM
JayJay

Footlick : Oh, didn't realize Shareta is a filly, but she's a play with being better on softer grounds if that's how the course is this weekend.   Just read an article about her win in the Vermeille, her time  of 2:29 for 12f on soft course is something to consider.

03 Oct 2012 4:32 PM
Footlick

Thanks, Laz for the correction.  He did win the King George, just wasn't as strong a field as the Arc would have been.  My mistake.  Frankel was certainly patient in the Juddmonte, but that was the first race that his jockey said he didn't pull at all.  Not sure if I would go to the Arc with him.  I personally would need to see a couple of races where he doesn't pull at all.  I can appreciate the people who want to see him tested more,but many are the same ones who were saying " just let him run 10f" and now that he did that is wasn't enough, as I should have known it would not be.  Maybe I should just ignore the comments about Frankel as I ignore the ones that say they can't rank Zarkava because she only ran 7 races.  Anyway, I need to get off the subject for everyone's sake.

03 Oct 2012 4:35 PM
Footlick

THE KEYMASTER- btw, thanks for mentioning Zarkava, IMHO, she was the most brilliant filly I had seen since the years Allez France and Dahlia ran against each other.

Orfevre certainly always had a great chance.  I just have had trouble equating his form now with his 3 yr old form.  Thanks for the info on his soft turf record.  I never know how soft soft turf is in Japan.  I think if it rains the way they feel it will, the turf will be softer than it was for his prep.  Shareta is also not at her best on softer turf, where as St Nicholas Abbey would probably benefit.  My dark horse if the send her is Great Heavens as she is an improving 3 yr old filly who likes the distance and soft turf and gets that terrific weight break.

03 Oct 2012 4:43 PM
JayJay

NM, looks like they decided not to run Saonois in the Arc, back to the drawing board for me lol.

03 Oct 2012 4:51 PM
Footlick

JayJay- this year is the first time she is really showing decent form on softer turf.  There was talk this year of only running her on good and firmer.  But the won her last two on ground that has not been considered ideal for her.  Just hope she didn't peak in the Vermeille. She has great connections.

03 Oct 2012 5:01 PM
mz

Coming in very late on the Arc comments:

Major p***-off that Snow Fairy and Danedream are out, especially the way Danedream ended her season.

Anyone heard if Great Heavens will actually run in the Arc?

I agree with whoever banged (metaphorically)that person who questioned Japanese runners' class over the head  Fergawdssakes, check recent Arc and Dubai World Cup and Melbourne Cup and Hong Kong results.  (p.s.  I find it entertaining that the Japanese owners named their runner in French: Orfevre.  Was he destined for the Arc?)

03 Oct 2012 5:35 PM
Footlick

mz- I haven't heard anything that is certain but there is certainly a lot of chatter about her and activity on the betting sites.  She is my dark horse if she goes.

03 Oct 2012 6:19 PM
Footlick

JayJay- where did you read that he is not going?  They have to supplement him, so he would not be on any official entry list.  Supplemental s will be declared Thurs

03 Oct 2012 6:57 PM
JayJay

Footlick : I went to racingpost and searched for him and in his profile, checked "Entries" and only race listed is a race on Oct 20th, the Qipco Champion Stakes.

mz : who questioned japanese' class ?  I was looking for it and also looking for the person that did the head banging lol.

03 Oct 2012 7:33 PM
Footlick

I would wait until Thursday.  Great Heavens is also entered for British Champions day, but they may supplement her to the Arc also.  I know they are warning people about Great Heavens and not to make a bet on her for the 20th until after Thurs.  I'm guessing that as long as they feel he is up to it, Saonois will be supplemented to the Arc.  Great Heavens is still up in the air.

03 Oct 2012 8:00 PM
THE KEYMASTER

Good discussion people. I can appreciate everyone's comments and thoughts.  It is refreshing to have people with some logic commenting and I can certainly appreciate differing opinions.

Footlick, it was my pleasure to mention Zarkava and very glad to hear you appreciate her.  Many people in the USA seem to forget her.  I would say more people in the US could identify Goldikova than Zarkava.  As brilliant as Goldikova was, she was a distant second best to Zarkava, which was proven on the track.

Agreed that the soft conditions in Japan could be different than in France, but I really don't know.  I know a GoingStick is used in the UK, not sure if it is used anywhere else.  I actually don't know how they measure going on turf here in the US.

Orferve would probably prefer firmer ground, but he doesn't ever seem to get tired, so I don't think testing ground will be an signifiant obstacle for him.  I like that the last furlong in uphill too.

I don't like to tout favorites and I am glad Orfevre will probably be the second choice in the wagering, so at least I don't feel like a favorite touting blowhard.  Anyone can jump on a favorite and say why they should win.  I appreciate dark horse picks, as they take thought and creativity.

It should be a great race and good luck to everyone (or at least good luck to those betting on Orferve)!

03 Oct 2012 8:10 PM
Footlick

THE KEYMASTER- I am always happy to hear of others who appreciate Zarkava for how good she actually was.  She was just absolutely brilliant, and even with adversity, as in the bad break in the Vermeille and the rough trip in the Arc, she still won easily.  Absolute class.

I also assume that a more testing trip would play into Orfevre and St Nicholas Abbey's hands, and maybe Great Heavens.  Not sure about Camelot,especially coming off the St Leger.  Sea Moon, if they run, would be another threat, IMO.  I would love to say Meandre,but I think Fabre would really have to have him run the race of his life.  But I will wait until tomorrow and see what the entries actually bring.

03 Oct 2012 8:35 PM
JerseyBoy

How does Orfevre compare to the Europeans left in the Prix de l'Arc?

The Racing Post Ratings for the top 5 are below.

(The first fig is the Top Speed. The second is the Racing Post Rating).

Camelot-----------137  145

Orfevre----------- 66  138

St Nicholas Abbey-130  135

Sea Moon----------130  134

Kesampour---------124  134

(Shareta  116  131. She is down the list at number 8)

03 Oct 2012 9:38 PM
JayJay

KEYMASTER : I agree with your last posting.  Sounds like you're pretty familiar with overseas racing as well.  I'm learning quite a few things about Japanese and UK racing just reading yours and Footlick's discussion.  All good!

Footlick : It's quite obvious I have a lot to learn but thanks for your comments and answering my questions.  I'll check tomorrow if they do supplement Saonois, I really think he'll be the value price in the race.  Also, I'll be rooting for Shareta, it's always great to see a filly beating the boys hehe :)

03 Oct 2012 9:49 PM
Footlick

Jersey Boy- those are too high for RPRs, I think.  Here are the top RPRs for some of the contenders:

Orfevre 129

Camelot 128

SNA       126

Sea Moon 126

Meandre- 122

Shareta 120

Great Heavens- 118

Saonois- 118

These are their top RPR ratings.  Camelot, Great Heavens, Saonois and Shareta will be getting weight from the older males so you have to factor that into their top number, so Camelot would actually be the highest rated.  Older males carry approximately-since it is in kg-131lbs.  Older fillies and mares carry 128 lbs.  Three yr old males carry 123.5lbs and three yr old fillies carry 120lbs.  You would add the difference in weights to the RPR score to see how it compares with the older males.  So Camelot would compute to 135.5, Great Heavens 129, Shareta 123, Saonois 124.5 and Shareta 123 if my math is correct.

03 Oct 2012 11:34 PM
jean thomas

with regard to frankel and his not traveling henry cecil is a very ill man and has been for some time !!! dumbasses

04 Oct 2012 2:21 AM
jean thomas

arc is now lackluster race anyway without snow fairy, nathaniel, danedream i hope great heavens runs in it i'll root for her

04 Oct 2012 2:30 AM
THE KEYMASTER

Cecil wasn't there when Frankel won the Sussex at Goodwood.  Can they not send Frankel over with the head lad?  I would say it is a safe assumption that there is someone in the yard that has spent more time with Frankel and had their hands on horse more than Cecil, especially since Cecil has been ill.  Seems unfair to the horse to let one man's illness dictate where the horse runs.

04 Oct 2012 9:23 AM
JerseyBoy

Footlick:

Check link below. I believe one list is adjusted for age. Both are correct. I did a cut and paste job.

www.racingpost.com/.../card.sd

04 Oct 2012 9:46 AM
Footlick

Jersey Boy- That is very interesting that the numbers are so different. Thanks for the link.

04 Oct 2012 10:22 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

jean thomas

  There ya go. Sir Henry wasn't knighted for nothing. He's one of the greatest of all time and so is Frankel. To state anything else is just ridiculous. Great posts.

04 Oct 2012 3:11 PM
JayJay

Footlick : You're right, looks like they supplemented Saonois.  Now I just hope to get a good price on him and even more important, I hope I wake up early enough to place my bets lol.

I'm going with :

Camelot / Saonois with

Camelot / Saonois with

Orfevre / Shareta / Great Heavens / Masterstroke

and

Saonois with Camelot, Orfevre, Masterstroke, Shareta with Camelot, Orfevre, Masterstroke, Shareta

Good luck all !!  There's a new blog but will come back here after this weekend to see everyone's thoughts of the Arc.  Looking forward to it.

04 Oct 2012 4:07 PM
Footlick

JayJay- yes they did.  My only worry with him is the trip.  But he is getting attention, but not enough that you will see his odds plummet. He should be a decent price.  As THE KEYMASTER. Predicted, Camelot is now the favorite, especially with Frankie in the saddle.  But, there will be a lot of Japanese money coming in for Orfevre, so he still may be favored.  Sea Moon is getting support as is Great Heavens.  Shaping up to be a good race even without the big names.

04 Oct 2012 7:09 PM
JayJay

Footlick :  I have no idea who his jockey is but from what I've seen in the Niel and Jockey Club, they can weave and zigzag through the field.  I have a feeling he'll be again midpack and his jockey will find a way to burst through for the win :)   Also, now that you've explained a little bit of detail on the weights, I'm even more excited with the weight break he's getting.   The only really concern I have with him is how the course will be.

Who do you think will set the pace ?

04 Oct 2012 7:51 PM
Footlick

Just glancing at the entries, there seem to be quite a few pacemakers, so I wouldn't worry about that.  When I mentioned the trip, Jay Jay, I wasn't necessarily talking about that type of trip, but the distance of the race.  In top company, there seems to be a question of whether he can legitimately get the 12f.  An inside trip, or a bobbing and weaving trip, isn't ideal in the Arc.  I do think he has a shot, but he will need luck.  He is not a bad bet, Jay Jay.  I will probably use the 3 yr olds with Orfevre, SNA and Sea Moon.  But I'll firm up and post again before Sunday.

04 Oct 2012 8:55 PM
JayJay

Footlick : His last race was at 12F (Prix Niel), I thought the Jockey Club was too but it's not, it was at 1 5/16.  The way he runs in the stretch makes me feel confident he can go farther actually.  Looking forward to your picks, don't be surprised if I change mine after seeing yours lol.

04 Oct 2012 11:06 PM
THE KEYMASTER

I will have to disagree with prior comments that a rank horse CANNOT win going 12f.

I went back and watched Sea the Stars in the 2009 Arc and I had the same thoughts watching the replay as when I watched it the first time... If Sea the Stars would have been given his head early in the race, he probably would have lowered it between his knees and let out a buck!

Sea the Stars was fighting Kinane so much that he was throwing around his head, which got him shuffled back and pinned.  However, as soon as Sea the Stars was asked the question, he responded with brilliance.

Also, Orfevre was rank early in the 12f Prix Foy, but went on to win after being wrangled back to last behind a slow pace.

Of course you would rather have a relaxed horse going 12f, but I certainly don't mind my jockey sitting tall with high hands.  I think the best horses are those that can package their energy and explode when asked the question.  

The 18 post certainly isn't ideal for Orfevre, but I think he may be the Japanese version of Sea the Stars and it won't matter.  Also, this is a weak field for Arc standards.

I will jump on the Great Heavens bandwagon as the longshot to include, but I will only be using underneath Orfevre.

05 Oct 2012 11:53 AM
Footlick

JayJay-  I know his last was at 12f but it is not the same as the Arc which is usually a more arduous, testing race.  I do agree that his running style suggests he will not have a problem, but I have noted a few analysts who had reservations, which were their only reservations actually.  Many like his chances.  And do not change your mind because of my picks, please.  Go with your instincts.  

05 Oct 2012 1:03 PM
Footlick

THE KEYMASTER- Sea the Stars Arc win to me was his most impressive, as he had a rough trip and was in traffic, which caused his being rank, IMO.  But it is rare,  and The horse has to be proficient at 12f.  But, to each his own.  Zarkava's Arc was the stronger of the two, and she had a rough trip also.  Anyway, I digress from what I wanted to comment about- lol.  I am not overly concerned with Orfevre's post.  He is one of the top choices and the post really doesn't change that.  I do like Great Heavens also.

05 Oct 2012 1:24 PM
THE KEYMASTER

Footlick-

Agreed that Zarkava's win was the stronger of the two, but I used Sea The Stars as an example because he was as upset as any horse I've ever seen in a race and he still won anyway.

However, not only did Zarkava win it in dazzling fashion, she also gets extra credit for being a 3-year-old filly and winning the Arc.

It will be exciting to see how the offspring of the two will turn out, but as with most high profile breedings, I am cautiously optimistic at best.

I appreciate you pointing out Great Heavens.  Everything I read about her is positive, but I still need to find some time to watch some replays of her races.

JayJay-

Always go with your instincts. While there are some valid opinions here, always play what you think. For the few times you will cash on someone's opinion, you will do much better in the long run going with you instincts. If your insticts don't tell you something, it is best not to wager at all.

05 Oct 2012 2:18 PM
THE KEYMASTER

Oh, not to keep going on about Orfevre, but I feel that he is the type of horse that is either going to win by a length or more, or he is going to finish midpack.

I'm certainly only going to wager more than I can afford to lose on Orferve and still have plenty of ammo left for the afternoon's races, because it is possible that he does not show up.

However, Orfevre has shown flashes of brilliance and if he can put it all together in the Arc, we may be in for a spectacular performance.

05 Oct 2012 2:29 PM
JayJay

Footlick / KEYMASTER : Yeah, I've always gone with my instinct ever since I stopped using the form but I do look at others opinion and their angle specially at tracks I'm not familiar with.  I'm set on Saonois, it's my first Arc bet, hopefully it'll be a good one.  I wish you both good luck and looking forward to your posts on Sunday.

05 Oct 2012 3:38 PM
Footlick

He did have a weird couple of races, THE KEYMASTER, but otherwise has been pretty consistent.  I'm going to study some more tonight and narrow things down.  You're welcome about Great Heavens but you would have found her anyway, I'm sure.  I do feel she is a legit threat.

05 Oct 2012 3:48 PM
Footlick

Seeing the condition of the course at Longchamp, I would key Great Heavens, Saonois, Bayir and Sea Moon. At the moment I think the ground will not be suitable for Shareta.  Orfevre would be included in some as well as SNA.  I'll firm up tomorrow before the race but not sure I'll get to post my actual bets before. The first four are certain choices for me with win bets on both Great Heavens and Saonois.  But, Bayir was put i specifically in case of testing conditions and the trainer said he feels the horse can come on alot from his last run.  On the fence about Fabre's horses.  They really have to find much better form, but he has done it with 3 yr olds before.  Should be a great race, or a disaster-lol.

06 Oct 2012 7:48 PM
JayJay

Footlick : I'm also checking out Sea Moon after reading the article here on Bloodhorse.  They mentioned Sea Moon should like the soft turf.  I didn't get to watch the races this morning so I don't know what the course looks like.  Hopefully I'll get up really early tomorrow to be able to make my bets lol.

Good luck !

07 Oct 2012 12:05 AM
THE KEYMASTER

Soumillion made the lead too early with Orfevre, which allowed Solemia come back on him.  It was still an impressive effort by Orfevre, given the amount of ground he gave up and the testing conditions of the course.

07 Oct 2012 10:52 AM
Footlick

THE KEYMASTER- it was a brilliant run by Orfevre.  Soumillon would not have moved when he did if he didn;t think he had the horse.  I only had Solemia becaue I always put a small win bet on fillies on the Arc, but not due to my handicapping skills so I can;t claim the win.  Same with my exacta box i=with the fillies and Orfevre and otheres.  My hats off to Orfevre.  A brilliant run.  And to Fabre who once again gets a lesser 3 yr old of his to run well in the Arc.  Good pick THE KEYMASTER!

07 Oct 2012 11:24 AM
THE KEYMASTER

Congratulations on a very nice exacta Footlick.  I did not cash anything, as I only played Orfevre to win and both ways with Great Heavens. I didn't play much though, because of the unenticing odds, the heavy ground, the post draw.

Orferve was one of the favorites, so I cannot take much credit for focusing on him, especially since he was beat, but I still believe Orfevre is the best 12f horse on the planet.

It would be such a great race to see Frankel and Orfevre square off at 10f, but sadly racing will miss another matchup between superstars that the game so desperately needs.

Laffon-Parias should take the accolades for the victory, as he is the trainer of record for Solemia.  The Fabre runner Masterstroke ran a decent race for 3rd.

Also, Peslier gave Solemia an ideal trip saving all the ground and stalking the pacesetters.

Well onto Keeneland and the other afternoon races in the US.

07 Oct 2012 12:24 PM
Footlick

Orfevre certainly proved to me that at 12f he is brilliant.  He didn't move as early as Allez France did when she won the Arc, and Solemia is not Comtesse de Loir, but it was a very brave run from him. It would have been quite a race if Frankel, Orfevre and Cirrus des Aigles all square off.  But he may be at a slight disadvantage at 10f.  I had a decent day with winning the Boussac, Abbaye and Opera also.  The Opera was really no surprise, but the pther two were horses I thought might do well at longer odds.  Back to the Arc, Peslier gets some knocks sometimes, but is one of the top jocks in the world.  But, give it up to Solemia also as she was not going to be denied.  She just kept coming.  The wide trip maybe took it's toll on Orfevre, but it wasn't like he was stopping either.  They separated themselves from the rest of the field.  Masterstroke probably ran the race of his life, as many Fabre 3 yr olds do in the Arc.  Could you imagine how much more success Godolphin would have if they just kept their horses with Fabre?  I'm sure he gets a great retainer from them, though, to develop horses to transfer to lesser trainers.

On another note, even though I think Moonlight Cloud will be my pick for the BC Mile, Wise Dan is a huge threat to the Europeans.  This horse is a quality animal and maybe our best miler since Lure.  He is an exciting horse.

07 Oct 2012 12:57 PM
Footlick

Wow.  Molly Malone won the Cadran.  4 yr old fillies won the two top distance races over colts.

07 Oct 2012 1:17 PM
JayJay

WoW Footlick, congrats on the exacta on Solemia.  That was a weird run by Orfevre but I have to agree that he was the best horse in the race.  I still can't believe he took the lead by that much and still got beat.  That's a very long stretch.  About maybe 200 yards from the wire, I keep thinking, this must be the wrong race because the Orferve was too far ahead lol.

I'm adding Longchamp to my bucket list, that track looks really nice.  I have to go there before I kick the bucket.

10 Oct 2012 12:23 AM

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